Food poisoning can be managed at home without requiring a consultation with a doctor. Many individuals who end up with food poisoning usually feel better within a span of a few days.
Just remember to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids even the individual can only sip it. This is needed to replace any fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting. There are a number of measures that must be taken into consideration such as the following:
- Get enough rest as much as possible
- The individual should eat when he/she feels up to it by sticking with small, light and non-fatty meals initially
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy and fatty foods as well as carbonated beverages since they can make the condition worse
A doctor should be consulted if the symptoms are severe or do not start to improve within a few days.
How to prevent the spread of infection
If an individual is suspected with food poisoning, he/she should not prepare food for others and try to keep contact to vulnerable individuals to a minimum such as the elderly or young children.
It is best to avoid going to work or school until at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhea. In case you are living with someone who has food poisoning, the following should be observed:
- Make sure everyone in the household washes their hands using warm water and soap regularly especially after using the toilet and before and after preparing food.
- Wash the laundry of infected individuals using the hottest setting in the washing machine.
- Clean all surfaces, basins, toilet seats, flush handles and tap frequently.
- Make sure that everyone has their own flannels and towels.
Oral rehydration solution
Oral rehydration solutions are suitable for those who are vulnerable to the effects of dehydration such as the elderly and those who have existing health conditions. These are readily available in pharmacies and prepared by simply dissolving in water. The solution helps replace glucose, salt and other essential minerals the body lost through dehydration.
For those who have kidney conditions, some forms of oral rehydration salts might not be recommended.
In case the symptoms are severe or persistent or the individual is prone to serious infection, further treatment might be required.
There are tests performed on a stool sample to determine the exact cause of the symptoms and antibiotics are usually prescribed if the results reveal a bacterial infection. There are also medications given to stop vomiting if it is severe. In some cases, hospitalization is required for a few days to monitor the condition as well as administered fluids intravenously.